AgustaWestland could fly a larger “next-generation civil tiltrotor” (NGCTR) by 2020. Propelled by internal company studies and research that began in 2000, the larger tiltrotor project is now being pushed to the next level with $328 million in new funding from the Industry/European Union’s CleanSky2 initiative.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Sikorsky celebrated the 10th anniversary this month of the delivery of the first production S-92 medium-twin helicopter to offshore oil/gas operator PHI. Since then, Sikorsky has delivered more than 200 of the type. The fleet has accumulated more than 750,000 flight hours, nearly 90 percent of which were logged in offshore oil/gas operations. Sikorsky is now looking forward to fattening the roster of countries that fly head-of-state S-92s: the U.S.’s Marine One Presidential fleet will be based on the 19-seat design.
China-based Avicopter flew a new version of the AC311 light single, the AC311A, with a Turbomeca engine and Chinese avionics on August 14. The 10-minute maiden sortie took place in Jingdezhen, the home city of partner Changhe Aircraft.
The use of domestic avionics steers Avicopter clear of foreign export restrictions, the company said. AIN understands that the same applies to the engine, as France-based Turbomeca and Avicopter have long-established ties. The Arriel 2B1A powers the helicopter in lieu of the AC311’s Honeywell LTS101-700D-2, a U.S. product.
An EASA rule that takes effect next month opens the door to offshore oil-and-gas helicopter passengers’ using personal electronic devices (PED), and rotorcraft manufacturers say their designs are compatible with the use of PEDs in flight. However, European operators seem unenthusiastic about implementing the change despite its appeal to passengers.
AgustaWestland is displaying two of its lighter helicopters here at the LABACE show in the form of a Power and a GrandNew, and will also unveil the cabin interior for its new AW169 helicopter. Interior configurations and entertainment options will be promoted for the 4.5-metric-ton light/intermediate machine.
Helibrás (Chalet 5104) has received the Brazilian “Blue Line” Internal Revenue Service qualification, making the company the only helicopter manufacturer authorized to use the system–which helps it to streamline customer support. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters.
Russian Helicopters (Booth 4030) has come to LABACE to promote its extensive portfolio of civil rotorcraft, which it claims are well suited to a variety of private, corporate and industrial uses. This year, one of the group’s key subsidiaries, Rostvertol, is celebrating its 75th anniversary–emphasizing Russia’s strong pedigree in helicopter production.
Genesys Aerosystems’ HeliSAS helicopter stability augmentation system (SAS) and autopilot received STC approval for retrofit installation in Robinson R44s. HeliSAS’s two-axis autopilot allows for heading and nav hold, as well as vertical speed and altitude hold. The system operates during all phases of flight so it can maintain or recover a neutral attitude automatically when the pilot releases the cyclic; the pilot resumes full control simply through normal cyclic handling.
Sikorsky expects the FAA to certify a higher mtow for its S-92 medium-twin helicopter this fall. The maximum allowable takeoff gross weight of the aircraft is being increased from 26,500 to 27,700 pounds, thus allowing operators to carry an additional 1,200 pounds of payload.
Germany-based aeromedical and air rescue helicopter operator DRF Luftrettung took delivery of the first Airbus Helicopters EC 145T2 today during a ceremony at the aircraft manufacturer’s production facility in Donauwörth, Germany. DRF has a firm order for 20 EC 145T2s, which will gradually replace its BK 117 and Bell 412 fleets over the coming years. Two DRF pilots will soon ferry the new helicopter to the operator’s maintenance facility at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport, where the EC 145T2 will be outfitted with medical equipment.